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How To Get Book Reviews

Trying to get readers to write a review is like getting your two-year-old child to take a horrible-tasting medicine, says ALLi member and regular contributor, Giacomo (Jim) Giammatteo. But it is possible and it is worth it.  In the first of a three-part series on reviews, he explains how he gets more than twenty reviews a month.

The Process of Getting Reviews

I launched my book in mid April 2012. Since then I have managed to get seven editorial reviews, 77 reviews on Amazon, and another 44 reviews on Goodreads. No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of reviews (more than 20 per month) so how do you get that many reviews?

I can tell you it’s not by having a big family. I didn’t have my wife write one (mostly for fear of what she’d say) and I didn’t have either of my sons write a review. A few family members did write reviews—the ones who read the kind of books I write. And guess what, one of those reviews was not a five star. (Yeah, I know. Tough family)

For what it’s worth, here’s the secret—work your

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Indie Authors: How To Choose A Copyeditor

Sometimes an author needs a lot of hand holding …

How do you choose the right copyeditor for your book? And which kind of editor do you need anyway? ALLi member, indie author and ace copyeditor herself, CS Lakin, points the way.

Getting a personal recommendation of an editor from a trusted author friend is usually the best way to go. But even in those instances, you may find one author’s choice in an editor may not be your best choice.

Personality comes into play, and sometimes the fit just isn’t right. Sometimes an author needs a lot of communication and handholding, and some editors are all business, so see how the editor responds to your query and questions.

You should be able to tell by her personality and responsiveness to you if it feels like a good fit. An editor that doesn’t

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Alliance Of Independent Authors Self Publishing Survey

Self-Publishing Survey

Alliance of Independent Authors Self publishing surveyHelp us to help you.

The Alliance of Independent Authors has teamed up with Dr Alison Baverstock of Kingston University to carry out a self-publishing survey this autumn.

To make it work, we need you to go to this link and answer some questions about your writing and self-publishing.

It won’t take you more than ten minutes to complete and answers will be used to

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Writers Must Protect Their Time.

Authors: How To Protect Your Writing Time


Writers must protect their time.

Kelly McClymer counts the ways.

Writers, especially self-published writers, often feel like they need a time bodyguard. There are always other pesky things to do like raise children, make dinner, do laundry, work. When I first began to write, I dreamed of the day I’d get an advance big enough I could justify holing up in my office for a full day of uninterrupted writing time.

Despite a dozen published novels, that day never came. I chalked it up to my inability to snag that coveted seven figure advance, and kept on writing, working, cooking, and cleaning (well…talking about cleaning, at least).

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Self-Publishing and The Midlist.

Guest Post by  By Catherine Czerkawska

There has been a great deal of talk in publishing circles about the ‘midlist slump’. A couple of years ago, I even read reports confidently predicting the ‘death of the midlist’. With the rise in indie publishing, these appear to have been exaggerated.

If I were to define midlist, I suppose it would be that huge, fertile, centre ground of well-written fiction which doesn’t slot neatly into any particular genre. It might be written by authors who like to experiment with crossing the boundaries and don’t see why they should always have to change their names to do so, especially when the ‘voice’ remains much the same.

I write historical and contemporary fiction, but the style is undoubtedly mine. Midlist readers are often, but by no means exclusively, female, often middle aged or older. They seem to be voracious readers.

The midlist used to be the seed bed from which the occasional (almost always unpredictable) blockbuster would spring. Screenwriter William Goldman’s much quoted dictum that ‘nobody knows anything’ applies just as much to fiction as to film. If the publisher got lucky, it might be an author’s first or second book that made the breakthrough. More frequently it would be their fifth, sixth or seventh book. And if a book did become a bestseller or spawn a number of sequels, some of those profits would be ploughed back into nurturing other seedlings. Broadly speaking, that’s how it used to be, before the big corporations ate the smaller companies and changed the whole ethos of publishing in the process.

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Five Questions Indie Authors Should Always Ask An Agent

Perkins literary agency contract wouldn't suit indie authors

The great Max Perkins. But traditional publishing contracts won’t suit indie authors.

As more and more self-publishing authors make a success of our endeavours, more agents and publishers come calling. But too often they come with a traditional publishing contract in hand. This fails to recognise that an indie author’s situation is different to that of a tyro,  unpublished author.

As self-publishers, we have built our readership and already have a following. Our e-rights are very valuable to us and we’re not keen to bundle them with other rights. We expect publishers to understand that our situation is different — and to reflect this in their contractual terms and conditions.

Here are four questions that an indie should ask before signing any deal with an agent. (Please note, the first three questions pertain to signing with agents for English language rights; only the fourth to translation rights, which is a different proposition, requiring a different set of questions).

We’ll have a blog post on that, and on questions to ask if you’re considering signing directly with a publisher, soon.

1. Will my self-publishing income be

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How To Self-Publish An Ebook On A Budget

Guest Post By Stephanie Zia

In a perfect world you’d consult and employ professionals at every stage to produce an ebook – from copy editing to formatting, proof reading, cover design and beyond. But not many of us have the resources to do that. I certainly didn’t.

I was blogging my discoveries as I learnt until, in July 2010, I decided to gather everything into an ebook for other writers with little publishing and technical knowledge. Here is a quick run-down on my methods of producing an ebook with little or no initial outlay.   When you’ve finished writing, put the work away, had another look, re-edited etc etc. and find you really have reached “The End” and are ready to publish, the next stage is to copy edit.

1. A copy editor corrects grammar and spelling mistakes, looks for consistencies in spelling, capitalisations and spacings, and checks facts, names, dates, references, timescales in fiction, and so on. This is obviously a

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